NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) — The Newport Jazz Festival is adding a third day of music to mark its 60th anniversary. The focus will be on new and emerging acts, but at least one familiar name will be on hand to help kick off one of the world’s top jazz festivals on Aug. 1.
Festival producer George Wein said the musicians featured may well represent the future of jazz.
“The artistry of these musicians must be heard,” said Wein, who produced the first festival in 1954.
Among the acts to be featured will be saxophonist Miguel Zenón, Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society and avant garde composer John Zorn.
While Zorn is an established artist, Wein said he has recently emerged as an icon. Zorn will bring his “Masada Marathon,” a collaboration of groups performing in a variety of styles, including klezmer music and string trios.
The festival usually begins on a Friday night with a well-known musician performing at the International Tennis Hall of Fame, then continues for the weekend at Fort Adams, a waterside state park that provides a spectacular setting for the music.
The 2014 festival will begin at 11:30 a.m. Friday at Fort Adams. Sales for the Aug. 1 daytime inaugural event started Thursday. Tickets for the Friday’s festival event will be priced less than for the weekend.
The additional day of music is funded in part by a $40,000 grant from the Rhode Island Foundation, which called the festival a source of great pride for the state.
The jazz festival and its sister folk festival are now run by a nonprofit foundation, set up by Wein in 2010 and established with the intent to keep them both going long after the 87-year-old Wein is gone. The Newport Festivals Foundation is allowed to receive tax-deductible contributions.
Last year’s jazz festival attracted more than 17,000 people. The festival has showcased jazz superstars, including Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Billie Holiday and Duke Ellington, but is also known for providing music fans a venue to see established stars perform alongside new talent.